Sunday, August 28, 2011


Wow, it's August 22nd and this last week has flown by! It seems like just yesterday it was my Prep Day, but here it is again. They say as the weeks go on time goes faster here at the Missionary Training Center because you begin to love the people that are next to you, the people that are learning a language with you, and the people that are bringing ALL unto Jesus Christ. I love my district. I am in a tri-companionship and serving as the District Leader. We have 7 elders in our district and 4 sisters. But it doesn't even feel like a district anymore. We feel like a small family that has grown and learned so much together. My new best friends are in my district. It's a good thing I have been writing in my journal every night because I wouldn't be able to remember all the amazing spiritual experiences I have had and the miracles I have witnessed here in the MTC. One of my teachers, Hermano Herman said, "When you are in the field, you and your companion are the only people in the area that can bring salvacion to the people in your area. You are their ONLY hope".  I loved it when he said that and as I was writing it down I wrote "salvacion" instead of salvation. Then it just hit me - that I am beginning to write in Spanish without thinking. The spirit hit me so hard and the Lord told me through the spirit that I can do this, I CAN learn Spanish! I know He is always there for me and I know that without the spirit it would have taken me months to learn the amount of Spanish I have learned here in the MTC. Some days I feel like the language is hard and others it feels like I am really understanding it. It is the best feeling in the world to know that Jesus Christ is leading me on this roller coaster. Learning Spanish has been a humbling experience. It has taught me  how to work hard and to really turn to and depend on the Lord. One of my other language teachers said something amazing. Hermano Culbertson said, "You never LEARN how to do missionary work, You learn how to TURN and to DEPEND on the Lord." Our purpose as missionaries is to bring ALL unto Christ through the principles and ordinances of this gospel. I am so grateful for my family and my friends that have kept me on a straight and narrow path. I know my upbringing led me to this experience and that it will change my life and the lives I serve FOREVER. I have only been here for close to 2 weeks...but I already know I am going to miss my mission. Hermano Herman taught us to, "BE BOLD, but loving in our lessons. This is serious, this is eternal life."  He then said, "The Lord loves everyone, but He doesn't trust everyone. How lucky you are to have the Lord's trust."  How lucky I am to be a representative of Jesus Christ. The elders and I in my district went to the temple today. While I was waiting, I began praying for some personal revelation. I randomly opened the scriptures they had there to D&C 19:37-41. I have never read these scriptures before and wow it hit me like BOOM. A similar thing happened in the temple last Monday. I prayed for revelation and I got it - D&C 28:16. These scriptures are why I am here..because I love Jesucristo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am the Lord's Missionary

I get to email every monday for 30 minutes so my time is limited. I am LOVING the MTC! I have seen soo many of my old buddies here like, my great friend Mark Carlson from TX,  Jaden Talbot from OH,  Calvin Fairbarn from WI , Ammon Wilding from TX, Zac Cavanaugh from FL,  and a bunch of friends from BYUI. Absolutely amazing! The moment I stepped into the MTC the spirit of this place hit me. I was just called to be the District Leader of my district and I love my district. My companion is Elder Harker. He is 22 and a recent convert. He is awesome. I am bummed though because he is moving up to the Intermediate Spanish class and will not be my companion anymore. I will be in a Tri-companionship with the 2 other guys I room with,  Elder Latham and Elder Green and they are great! I love the language. I am making great strides with it.  On our 2nd day here they already had us teaching someone in Spanish. I was nervous during the first lesson, but I tried to remember to be an active listener like I had been taught and not to focus on what I wanted to say, but rather focus on what you think the person you are teaching needs in his life. So my first lesson was a little rough, but Elder Harker helped us get through it and the spirit was definitely there. But my second lesson on saturday was AMAZING! It was our second lesson teaching Gaspar (A fake investigator...AKA another Spanish teacher) But Elder Harker and I talked to him for 45 minutes in Espanol! Gaspar is Catholic and we were trying to help him see that we had the full truth – the full Gospel of Jesus Christ and not just part of it.  At the end of our lesson, I was able to bear my testimony in fluent (believe it or not) Spanish about eternal families and Jesus Christ. I definitely had a hard time bearing my testimony because the spirit was so strong. We have 6 hours of Spanish class every day and it gets long and hard, but I am learning so much! The difference between my first lesson and second was unbelievable to me - I could understand and speak twice as much Spanish in that span. The first few days have been a bit overwhelming, but I have said a lot of prayers and I am starting to soak it all in. I have so much to tell and so little time! My Zone Leaders and branch is awesome! In High School I didn't do as well in Spanish as I would have liked to – probably because I didn’t really have a desire to learn it at that time. I feel completely different here. I have the MTC and the Lord on my side and I am learning the language at an accelerated rate – it would have taken me at least 3 months in school to learn what I have already learned here.  This truly is the Restored Gospel and I am so glad I have it in my life and that I will be in a position to share it full-time soon.  My Branch President said something in sacrament that really hit me, "How often can you have your name engraved on a plaque next to His?" The fireside we had last night was so inspiring. Brother Heaton talked about, “How do you measure success on a mission?” Then he said, “When someone is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a GIFT. It is not earned." We also got to watch the Joseph Smith movie and man that is such a great film! I cried when Joseph was leaving his family and going like a lamb to the slaughter. What Godlike faith he must have had to know that he was going to die for the Restored Gospel! Every night when I write in my journal it seems like I start with, “What a great day”.... even though I sometimes get discouraged about the language - but the spirit here is tremendous and always makes you appreciate all the many wonderful things you have in your life. So, thank you family for all of the love and support throughout my life because without you I would not be here. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!!.

Elder Vance

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Things I've Always Known I've Had

As time rolls along and my departure for the MTC draws even more near, I have been thinking a lot about what I have been given. I thought this last week would go by faster but the reason I think these last hours are going by slow is because Heavenly Father wants me to appreciate what I have in my life. He wants me to realize that the biggest thing in my life is this gospel. Without my testimony of Jesus Christ I would not be me. I cannot imagine not growing up in church that is centered around Jesus Christ and a strong family. Family is my foundation and it is where Spencer Vance was molded into who he is today. My favorite song growing up was “I Hope They Call Me On A Mission”. I remember I had a small missionary badge that I wore as a young boy that said “Future Missionary” on it. During those years, I looked up to the missionaries because I knew that one day my time to serve would come. I remember the many missionaries that came into our home and shared their amazing stories of sacrifice and service. But what I will probably remember most is the spirit they carried with them and the love they had to serve others. I hope that I can bring that same spirit into the homes of many families in Santa Rosa, California over the course of the next 2 years. I am so grateful for sister missionaries as well. Sister missionaries are very special to me. Sister missionaries taught my father the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without them I physically and spiritually would not be here today. I love talking to young women that plan on serving missions because their desire to serve makes me want to be a better missionary. For example, there is one young woman named Olivia Baeza. She is planning on serving a mission early next year. She is an inspiration to me because she has only been a member for a few years and the strength she has is amazing. When I found out she was a recent convert, I was shocked. Her testimony is so strong and every time I talk to her I feel the spirit. To me she is a spiritual giant and the Lord will be lucky to have her in His army. She is not only special to Him, but she is special to me. The people she will be serving are in for a real treat because her smile is contagious and the love she carries will spread like a wild fire. I know that there are people that only SHE can touch. I would like to wish her the best of luck and let her know that I do take her seriously about serving a mission next year. Luv ya Liv!:)

I love this scripture and I want to strive to be a Celestial Missionary.

Doctrine & Covenants 42:6
6 And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, atwo by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a btrump, declaring my word like unto angels of God.


Soon to be Elder Spencer Guy Vance

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Youth Temple Trip

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go with 3 of my sisters to the Columbus, Ohio temple. What an experience that was. I was able to do ALL the baptisms for the session with the youth, which ended up being like 15 kids. It was incredible. The spirit was so strong and the youth have such strong testimonies. I am so proud of my sisters and the righteous choices they have made in their lives because I can see the gospel flourishing within them. I leave in 1 WEEK from today to enter the Missionary Training Center and boy that time is going to fly. This is my first post and I am getting used to this but hopefully a few of you follow me and my journey on my life changing experience. I cannot wait for my time to come:) 

          Soon to be Elder Spencer Guy Vance